A pastor was arrested for loitering after passing out Gospel tracts on a public sidewalk outside of a local mosque in Wichita, Kansas.
Pastor Mark Holick, of the Spirit One Christian Center, told the Gazette he was with 14 members of his church passing out packets containing copies of the Gospel of John and Romans along with a DVD featuring testimonies of former Muslims. Holick said they offered the packets to individuals as they exited services at the mosque. When offering the packets, members of Holick's group said, "We have a free gift for you."
Holick went on to explain that some took the packets and there did not appear to be any tension between the groups. After several minutes men who appeared to be Imams and other leaders in the mosque began telling members not to take the packets. Once the Imams came out, mosque members began to pass out copies of the Koran and debate with Holick's group. He said at no time was there any anger between the groups.
Eventually a police captain arrived and told Holick he would need to be walking while on the sidewalk. Holick said he walked across the sidewalk in front of a 40 foot driveway and when he walked back he was arrested for loitering. He claims he was not blocking traffic in any way.
During the trial Holick was found in contempt of court after expressing frustration over court restrictions on his attempts to question the arresting officer and the trial was halted. The next court date is Dec. 7 where he will respond to the contempt charge.
Spanish National Police has arrested eight suspected Islamic terrorists in raids on several flats in the central Ravel district of Barcelona and in Badalona. It's thought that those arrested are linked to Al Qaeda and the arrests come at the same time as other detentions in other countries.
The eight, all Pakistani nationals, are thought to be linked to a network of document falsification and to have been collaborators in the Mumbai bomb attacks in 2008 and to have sent fake passports to the country.
Geert Wilders On Islam, Israel, And The West (Interview Conducted By Eldad Beck)
THE HAGUE - Even a journalist from a friendly country like Israel cannot escape the evasive [sic -- "invasive" is meant] hands of Geert Wilders' security guards.
The bodyguards of the controversial Dutch politician, the founder and leader of the anti-Islamic Party for Freedom, put me through a strict security check as I arrive to interview him. Once and again they confirm my identity, ensuring that I am not carrying any device which may turn into a weapon.
Wilders backs plan to cut government spending by 18 billion euros in exchange for say in immigration policies. 'We want Islamization to be stopped,' he says
Wilders himself, on the other hand, appears detached from the security commotion surrounding him. He seems to have gotten used to it. That's what happens when you're one of the most threatened people in the world.
"To tell you the truth, I do fear for my life," he admits. "I'm just a human being. The threats against me are not only in Holland, but outside the country as well. We are talking about very serious threats on the part of different terror groups, and when you are aware of the extent of the threats, it's only human to think that something will indeed happen.
"But I must not let this kind of thinking affect my work. If I moderate my voice because of these threats, stop expressing my opinion or cease to be a politician, those people will use undemocratic ways, threats and murders to silence others. And they will win. I won't let them win."
And he does have a reason to be fearful: His declarations against Islam and offers to ban the immigration of Muslims into his homeland, the building of new mosques or the wearing of Muslim veils in public, have worked.
As Wilders established his status as the most prominent figure in Europe's anti-Islamic movement, imams across the Muslim world have sentenced him to death. Terror organizations vow to assassinate the person who was not so long ago an anonymous and unimportant politician, and whose support was the only reason for the establishment of new government in Holland just a few weeks ago.
Wilders says out loud what many Dutch and European people likely think, and is paying a heavy price. He lives under tight, round the clock security in a "sheltered house" provided to him by the Dutch government. He is the only parliament member whose home address is unknown.
"It's sad that in the struggle for my country's freedom, I have lost my personal freedom," Wilders says in a special interview to Yedioth Ahronoth. "All I have left is the freedom of expression and thought. The fatwas (Islamic legal pronouncements) and death threats only prove that my claims are justified.
"I am certain that had I criticized Christianity or Judaism, it wouldn't have evoked such a radical response. There wouldn't have been protests at the Vatican. The flag of Holland would not have been burnt. Dutch army forces would not have been threatened. The million and a half people who voted for us in the recent elections don't view me as a fascist or racist."
Wilders will visit Israel next week as the guest of Knesset Member Arieh Eldad (National Union) at a conference against the "two states for two people" concept.
"Israel is a lighthouse and the only democracy in a dark and tyrannical region," he declares. "It's part of us, of our European identity. Israel is fighting our war."
'We don't care about skin color'
Only several days ago, a court in Holland decided not to punish a Dutch Muslim rapper who wrote in one of his songs that he planned to attack Wilders. "Listen Geert, this is no joke. Last night I dreamed that I had cut off your head," the rapper sings, promising that "everyone who talks about Muslims gets killed."
There are quite a few stories about Wilders' way of life. Some say he doesn't sleep in the same place two nights in a row and that he has not seen his wife for months.
"In the beginning, six years ago, when the government did not have 'sheltered houses' yet, I spent several months with my wife in prison," he says.
"The cells we lived in were used in the past for the two Libyan agents responsible for the massacre on the Pan Am plane. We weren't there as prisoners, but as sheltered people. We also slept in military camps across Holland, and when we had private meetings we were flown on military planes. It was crazy. There were times when I had to wear a wig, an artificial moustache and sunglasses so that people would not identify me."
'Israel is the only democracy in a dark and tyrannical region' (Photo: AFP)
Wilders is the most prominent leader of the anti-Islam movement in Europe. Only six years ago he quit the Liberal Party and established a one-man faction. Last year, in the elections for the European parliament, his new party stunned the political arena with an unpredicted win.
In the elections for the Dutch parliament, this summer, the Party for Freedom tripled its power, becoming the third biggest party in Holland. According to recent polls, had new elections been held today, it would have become the biggest party with 31% of the votes.
The tie between the two big parties - the liberals and social-democrats - sent the coalition negotiations into a stalemate, until the Liberal Party and its conservative partners decided, in a surprising move, to establish a minority government, which would be backed by the Party of Freedom. Wilders is now officially an accepted and influential element in Dutch politics.
Extreme rightist? Racist? Fascist? "I'm the opposite of all that," Wilders protests. "We use democratic means only. We are definitely not racists; we don't care about people's skin color. It's ridiculous to claim that all our voters are fascists. It's an insult not just towards me, but towards them. There are not that many crazy people in Holland.
"But the political elite, which failed to handle the problems we openly discuss - the massive immigration, the crime, Islam - still thinks its politically incorrect to talk about it. They see the vast support we are getting, and their response is to demonize us."
In all of Europe, Wilders claims, the institutionalized parties don't know how to treat parties like his. "They call us all kinds of names, and then try to copy us. Several weeks ago I spoke in Berlin. I told the Germans, 'Please, forget about your past. The new generations are not responsible for what happened. Get rid of your past, because that's the reason you can't talk freely about the problems of immigration and Islam.'
"Angela Merkel and half of her government ministers criticized the speech, saying I have no right to say such things. But several weeks later, when polls showed that if a party like mine were to be established in Germany it would receive 20% of the votes, Merkel changed her tone and announced the failure of the multicultural society."
Islam, by the way, is not even a religion as far as Wilders is concerned. "It's a totalitarian ideology. There is no room in it for anything that does not belong to Islam. It wants to fully dominate not just the life of any individual, but society's life as well. If you're a secular, an atheist, a Jews or a Christian living in a society where Islam is dominant, your life is very hard. So Islam must be compared to other totalitarian ideologies, like Communism and Fascism.
"I have nothing against Muslims as people. Most of them are law-abiding people, like you and me. And yet, I would like to restrict immigration from the countries of Islam because these people bring along a culture which could change the face of our society if it becomes dominant. We can already see negative changes in countries with a large Muslim population."
In your battle you find yourself alongside very problematic parties, like the Austrian Freedom Party or the National Front in France.
"We don't have and we'll never have anything to do with such radical parties. They are very different from us. We are culturally conservative and liberal on many issues. Most gay people in Holland vote for my party. This wouldn't happen if we were radical."
Ariel Sharon as role model
Wilders, 47, is one of Israel's strongest and loudest supporters in Europe, and does not hide it - as opposed to others. He even insisted on including in the Dutch government's platform a reference to the improvement of relations with Israel.
"I'm very pleased that Israel is the only country mentioned in the agreement as a country which we must invest in more," he says. "We are the State of Israel's best friends and support it in any way possible."
He laughs out loud when asked about accusations that he is an "Israeli agent".
"Come on," he replies. "I'm clearly not an Israeli agent. It's crazy. I am a Dutch politician who works for Holland and its citizens. But I'm a friend of Israel, and I'm not afraid to say it. Because I openly speak in favor of Israel, people who don't like me make up such stuff. The Iranian press determined that was a Mossad agent. The Jordanians call me a Shin Bet officer. It's nonsense."
His love affair with Israel began at the age of 17, when he arrived in the Holy Land as a volunteer for one year. "I really enjoyed myself, and not just because of the beautiful Israeli women," he recalls. "I was not politically active at the time. I worked in tourism in Eilat, in a bread factory in Jerusalem, in Moshav Tomer in the Jordan Valley.
"I also experienced periods of tension. The border with Jordan was not very safe at the time. We had to go down to bomb shelters because of terrorist infiltrations. We saw IDF choppers arriving. As a person who came from the south of Holland and visited Amsterdam only a few times, these experiences left a great impression on me."
Throughout the years, Wilders visited many Muslim countries as well, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Tunisia and Afghanistan. "There too I met many people who were very friendly," he clarifies, "but all these countries are controlled by dictators. People in the region deserve to live under better conditions."
He has many friends in Israel, including in the political system. With former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, for example, he had a particularly warm relationship and has a lot of appreciation for him to this very day. "He was also greatly demonized by the West, but was a great politician who serves as a role model for me," Wilders stresses.
"I believe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not territorial. Those who make this claim have no idea what they are talking about. If you return the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, it won't end the conflict. After a certain period of time - a month, a year, a decade - they'll want the rest of the land, because this is an ideological conflict. So the solution cannot be territorial, but ideological.
"The Palestinians believe - and this is the nature of Islam - that Israel is their country and that they are fighting the non-Muslims in the West through it. The struggle against Israel is a struggle against us. We are Israel. The reason Dutch parents can sleep calmly without having to worry about their kids is that Israeli parents stay awake at night because their children are in the army. This doesn't mean Israel cannot be criticized, but I'm not ashamed to fight for Israel."
During the conference Wilders plans to attend in Israel, he will try to convince the audience that the Palestinians already have their own state.
"Jordan is Palestine," he rules. "That's how it was in the past, after the Sykes-Picot Agreement, and this is the solution for the conflicts. Jordan's kings, Abdullah and Hussein, have even made such declarations in the past. They changed their approach only when they discovered that such declarations may have a negative impact on their regime due to the Palestinian majority.
"I am against ideas of a transfer or ethnic purification. But if Jordan turns into a Palestinian state, Palestinians could be encouraged to move there. Naturally, I'm not the one to decide how the conflict should be solved. Israel is a democracy and the Israelis will decide on the desired solution. It's your decision."
What are your thoughts about the 'Loyalty Law' debate in Israel? Can it work in Holland too?
"I think it's a good idea. Even if the background in Holland is different, adopting any oath of loyalty to the state is a good idea. We won't be able to pass it with our current coalition. In the past I spoke about an integration contract for immigrants or an oath of loyalty to the state, which would indicate that their top commitment is to the state and to our values, constitution and culture. That would be a positive step.
"People in Europe don't know what they are anymore, so they don't know what they're fighting for. We must reinvent our identity. In France, before every presidential speech, they show the country's flag and play the anthem. If someone would do that Holland, people would think he was mad. Here, even the parliament doesn't have a flag.
"You're not a racist if you're proud of your uniqueness and struggle for your culture. Europe's great disease is the idea imposed on us by the leftists and liberals, that all cultures are equal. People don't see the difference between Islam and Judaism or Christianity, and there are thousands of differences. We fight against this idea and we're slowly winning."
Europe not a friend
Wilders doesn't hide his support for a military option against the Iranians. "Iran is the greatest geopolitical threat on Israel, on stability in the entire Middle East, and on Europe and the entire world," he says. "This is a country run by mad people, religious fanatics like Khamenei or other lunatics like Ahmadinejad.
"Now we are seeing some movement there. Even the Revolutionary Guards are voicing criticism. Iran can blow up from the inside. The danger in countries dealing with an internal threat is that their regime will do crazy things. That's what I'm afraid of.
"Because of the growing internal instability, they must not be given access to plans which could be used for military purposes. They will search for a joint external enemy, and Israel will be the first to pay the price. I hope diplomacy will lead to a non-military solution, but if at the end of the day Israel decides on a military counterattack because its existence is threatened, I will understand. The alternative is having Israel destroyed."
Is Turkey becoming a new Iran?
"Turkey is a very complicated country. We have good relations, and it's a distinguished NATO member. But this is the kind of country that could easily take the path of Islamism. I reject the American pressure on the European Union to accept Turkey as a member. Europe does not need such a big country in which Islam is dominant. Being a good neighbor is not being a member of the family.
"If Turkey becomes an EU member it will have to adjust to certain criteria, including returning to army to its bases. I'm quite concerned about that. In Turkey the army is the only balancing power. If the army returns to the bases, people like (Prime Minister Recep Tayyip) Erdogan will be able to increase the Islamization process, and then we'll have a Trojan horse in the heard of Europe. I also don't want Europe to share a border with criminal countries like Iran and Syria."
And what do you think about Israel joining the European Union?
"I would advise my friends in Israel not to consider it. The EU has always been on the Palestinians' side. Israel has many friends in Europe, but Europe is not Israel's friend."
I have written these letters innumerable times during sleepless nights since your wedding. They are terrible documents, and should never have had to be written. Nor read. If you have the will, stop reading now. I find it impossible not to continue writing. more>>>
Wikileaks Show Obama Knew Perfectly Well What The Arab Rulers Wanted Done, But He Continued To Insist On That "We-Need-Israel-To-Make-Peace-With-The-"Palestinians"-First" Nonsense
From The Jerusalem Post:
How Obama tries to avoid coming to grips with the problem of Iran:
By David Horovitz
Obama, we now know, had the diplomatic cables to prove that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was no obstacle to wide Arab backing for the toughest possible measures against Iran.
After the first meeting between newish President Barack Obama and new Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in May of 2009, I wrote in these pages about the "acutely uncomfortable clash of divergent outlooks" so readily evident at their media conference.
I noted that while the Netanyahu camp had "rushed to talk up a purported meeting of minds over Iran," it was plain that there was a gulf between the two men on the issue. Specially, I wrote, it had been Netanyahu's hope that he would persuade Obama of the imperative to halt the Iranian nuclear drive "as a precondition for encouraging Arab moderation and thus enabling progress with the Palestinians, and on this he failed."
Instead, I pointed out, "Obama insistently placed tackling the Palestinian issue - which has defeated even the most generous and flexible Israeli governments - on the road to fixing Iran."
While Israel had argued internationally that stopping Iran would enable headway with the Palestinians, and other foreign heads of state, senior ministers and diplomats had politely suggested it was best to try to chivvy both processes along simultaneously, Obama, I observed, "has gone all the way over to the other side, and done so in public."
I was referring to the president's assertion, publicly contradicting Netanyahu, that, "If there is a linkage between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, I personally believe it actually runs the other way. To the extent that we can make peace with the Palestinians - between the Palestinians and the Israelis - then I actually think it strengthens our hand in the international community in dealing with a potential Iranian threat."
In that column and many others since, I have often come back to Obama's unconvincing assertion that Netanyahu, and much of Israel besides, has the Iran- Palestinian equation wrong. I often noted how illogical it seemed for Obama to argue that there was a good prospect of dramatic progress on the Palestinian front even while Iran, and by extension, Palestinian extremists, were in the ascendant, and how much more room for optimism there would be on the Palestinian front if Iran had been faced down, its nuclear march halted, and relative moderates throughout the region emboldened and empowered.
To my mind, the president's thinking defied common sense. Now we know, however, that it also defied the concrete information he was receiving from his own diplomats.
THE OBAMA administration, it is now clear for all to see, was not pressing a reluctant Netanyahu to make settlement-freeze and other concessions to the Palestinians in part because it truly believed this would be helpful in generating wider support for tackling Iran.
Not at all. The United States, we now know courtesy of WikiLeaks, was being repeatedly urged by a succession of Arab leaders to smash an Iranian nuclear program they feared would destabilize the entire region and put their regimes at risk. Their priority was, and is, battering Ahmadinejad, not bolstering Abbas.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, in 2008, had not urged the US to chivvy those recalcitrant Israelis toward concessions to the Palestinians as a pre-condition for grudging Saudi support for a firmer US-led position against Iran. Anything but. Never mind the Palestinians, the king simply implored Washington to "cut off the head of the [Iranian] snake."
Likewise, with minor variations in the course of the following year, the rulers of Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
We are now starting to hear, courtesy of WikiLeaks, what Jordan and Egypt had to say on the matter too.
Obama, that is, was not the prisoner of a misconception, convinced in absolute good faith that if he could deliver Israeli concessions at the negotiating table he might stand a greater chance of getting the Arabs on board for the battle with the mullahs. No, he had the diplomatic cables to prove that the Israeli- Palestinian conflict was no obstacle to wide Arab backing, indeed wide Arab entreaties, for the toughest possible measures against Iran, emphatically including military action.
Either the president, it can be concluded, was so attached to his misconception that he refused to let the concrete information he had on Arab leaders' thinking get in the way - sticking to his view of the region in defiance of the facts.
Or, more plausibly, he had internalized full well that he didn't actually need the cover of a substantive Israeli-Palestinian peace process to generate Arab support for tackling Iran's nuclear program, but chose to pressure Israel just the same, as a tactic, because he felt Israel was not being sufficiently forthcoming on the Palestinian front.
Neither explanation sits well, to put it mildly.
TELL NETANYAHU - who at the time of their first meeting had yet to endorse the two-state solution, and who is extremely unlikely to repeat the peace offer that Ehud Olmert had spurned by Abbas - that you feel he should be doing more? That's fair enough.
What's not fair enough is to indicate to the Israeli prime minister, when it's patently untrue, that he ought to put aside some of his skepticism and take risks for peace because otherwise Israel might impede the US's capacity to thwart the genocidal enemy, Iran.
In that May 2009 column, I noted that "If building international, and more specifically regional pressure on Iran is perceived to be contingent on dramatic progress toward resolving our vexed conflict with the Palestinians, the outlook may be bleak indeed. To judge by the fate of Israel's peace overtures since the early 1990s, the Iranians, one can only fear, would be up to their eyes in enriched uranium before there's a breakthrough here."
So now here we are 18 months later. The peace process is deadlocked and Iran is indeed a good deal closer to the bomb. And the Obama administration has been pressing Israel for a second settlement freeze, even though Abbas wasted the last one, even though Netanyahu has demonstrably sought to encourage reconciliation by improving the economic climate on the West Bank, and even though Israel's uncertainty about its Palestinian partner is magnified every time Fatah derides the legitimacy of a Jewish nation-state or the PA endorses "research" denying Jewish sovereign history here.
Until WikiLeaks, the US was presumably still reminding Israel of its view that the "linkage between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process... runs the other way."
That the route to thwarting Teheran runs via Jerusalem. That, whatever Israel's misgivings, it should consider giving ground on the Palestinian front in part because of the demands of the wider struggle against Iran.
Israel responsible for WikiLeaks in anti-Turkish plot, AKP members says
Hüseyin Çelik. AA photo
Israel could have engineered the release of hundreds of thousands of confidential documents on WikiLeaks as a plot to corner Turkey on both domestic and foreign policy, according to a senior ruling party official.
"One has to look at which countries are pleased with these. Israel is very pleased. Israel has been making statements for days, even before the release of these documents," Hüseyin Çelik, deputy leader of the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, and the party's spokesperson, told reporters at a press conference Wednesday.
Following initial reaction to the leaked U.S. Embassy cables, which have revealed diplomatic secrets about Turkey, Azerbaijan, its Middle Eastern neighbors, Turkish officials have started to suspect that "the main cause of these leaks was to weaken the Turkish government."
WikiLeaks has released approximately 250,000 documents of confidential U.S. diplomatic correspondence to newspapers around the world. Around 8,000 of those documents are from the U.S. Embassy to Ankara.
The first signal came from President Abdullah Gül, who said Tuesday the leaks seemed to be a result of a systematic work with some purpose behind it.
Though government officials like Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Çiçek avoided naming Israel in their public statements Wednesday, Çelik, a close aide to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, singled out the country with his comments Wednesday.
"Documents were released and they immediately said, 'Israel will not suffer from this.' How did they know that?" Çelik said.
Turkey and Israel have had bitter relations since the flotilla crisis, in which Israeli commandos killed eight Turkish and one American-Turkish citizen. "Turkey, with its efficiency and foreign policy, has treaded on someone's fields. The prime minister is known as a dominant leader not only in Turkey but also in the world," Çelik told reporters.
Yasin Dogan, a columnist for the pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper, also named the Israeli lobby in the U.S. as the source of the cable leaks. "Some people from the U.S. want to drive the [Barack] Obama administration in a different direction. They also want to adjust the relations of many governments with the U.S.," he said in his article Wednesday. Dogan is the penname of Yasin Akdogan, who is one of Erdogan's political advisors.
According to observers, government officials believe the cables leaked through WikiLeaks were selected as part of a comprehensive plan to corner Turkey both in terms of domestic and international politics.
The publication of allegedly baseless claims on Erdo?an's personal assets, the highlighting of a silent rift between Gül and Erdogan and the focusing on Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu have been perceived as tools to create disturbances for the government inside the country and ahead of next year's general elections, according to some observers.
When reminded that the cables depicted Gül and Erdo?an as political rivals, the president said "such claims could not hurt" his relations with the prime minister.
On foreign policy, the release of cables indicating that many Arab countries were in fact in favor of a military attack on Iran to scuttle Tehran's ambitions to develop nuclear weapons were seen as moves to show that Turkey was alone in defending Iran in the region.
"This situation posits Turkey as the only advocate of Iran not only in Europe but also in the Middle East," Murat Yetkin, Ankara representative of the daily Radikal, wrote in his column Wednesday.
Yetkin added his observation that Ankara has evaluated the cables as a psychological campaign to push Turkey to take a cooler stance on Iran.
Furthermore, the release of remarks by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev on Turkey and other remarks that Balkan countries were extremely uncomfortable with Davuto?lu's frequently heard rhetoric on neo-Ottonamism were also evaluated as moves to weaken Turkish influence in its near abroad.
See the beginnings here of the end for the American squandering in Afghanistan. Note that there is not a glimmer of a discussion about the world-wide threat of Islam, and about themain instruments of Jihad, which would reinforce the idea that the American militrary presence, and lavish aid, in Afghanistan makes so little sense. The discussion of how the Camp of Islam is to be more cleverly and cost-effectively constrained, divided, demoralized, weakened, can be found only in a handful of such websites as NER.
A letter has been forwarded to me, from an academic in Bulgaria, bearing unglad tidings:
> The government of Bulgaria has declared war on the main research
> centre of the country, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and has
> announced its intention to, de facto, liquidate it, an unprecedented arbitrary
> act in its 141-year history. Research funding of the leading university of
> the country, Sofia University, has been also drastically cut.
> In this critical moment, the Bulgarian scholarly community needs
> your support!
Here is how -- I will claim in his absence -- Pushkin might have summed it up:
Declaration by 5,000 French mayors in support of the rights of Camp Ashraf residents
27 November 2010
Subsequent to the inhumane pressures and crimes perpetrated by the religious fascism ruling Iran, its intelligence agents and the committee tasked with the suppression of Camp Ashraf at the Iraqi Prime Minister's Office, 5,000 French mayors, including 200 senators and members of the National Assembly, joined with the presidents of 13 out of 26 administrative regions in France, voicing support for the rights of the residents of Camp Ashraf, which stands as the symbol of the Iranian nation's dignity and quest for freedom and democracy. The mayors described Ashraf as the sister city of 5,000 cities in the Republic of France.
This afternoon, November 24, at the City Hall in Paris's 1st arrondissement, Mayor Jean-Françios Legaret, presented the Iranian Resistance's President-elect, Maryam Rajavi, with a plaque of the declaration as well as the mayors' signed documents.
Entitled "Democracy for Iran: Protection for Dissidents," the declaration by the French mayors states:
• Whereas, on April 24, 2009, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on Camp Ashraf in Iraq, home to 3,400 Iranian opponents of the Iranian regime, including 1,000 women, who are recognized as "protected persons" under the Fourth Geneva Convention;
• Whereas, last year, 2,172 French mayors announced their support for Ashraf;
• Whereas, on June 26 of this year, over 100,000 Iranians attended a gathering in Taverny, north of Paris, in solidarity with the Iranian people's uprising and in defence of Ashraf, demonstrating that general public opinion in Iran against the religious fascism ruling the country and in favor of Ashraf and the Iranian Resistance;
• Whereas, 3,500 parliamentarians on both sides of the Atlantic have issued a declaration in support of Ashraf residents and the imperative of their protection by UN and US forces, as well as in support of the Third Option proposed by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi [calling for democratic change in Iran by the Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance];
• Whereas, relatives of Camp Ashraf residents have been arrested in Iran after visiting Ashraf, with some receiving the death sentence;
• Whereas, the Iraqi forces' deadly attacks against Ashraf in July 2009, at the behest of the Iranian regime, left 11 dead and over 500 wounded among the residents, a crime denounced by the entire world;
• Whereas, the Iraqi government has laid an inhumane siege on Ashraf since early 2009, banning family and lawyer visits, obstructing the inflow of food and fuel, and preventing the residents' access to medical services, thereby renewing threats of a massacre of the residents;
• Whereas, the blacklisting of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) is used as a pretext to justify the imposition of restrictions and pressures against Ashraf;
• Whereas, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the PMOI in July 2010 and ordered the US State Department to review the group's designation;
• Whereas, the Iranian regime seeks to extradite and issue arrest warrants for the residents of Ashraf by meddling and infiltrating the Iraqi judicial system;
We, the undersigned, declare:
1. Subsequent to a call by 2,172 mayors of various French cities in October 2009, who voiced their support for the Ashraf City and expressed alarm over the threats posed by the clerical regime against the residents, we, mayors of French cities, view this extraordinary city, which is a distinguished symbol of the Iranian people's democratic demands, as our sister city.
2. We call on the United Nations, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Iraq, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to affirm the legal status of Ashraf residents as protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibit any attempts to forcibly displace the residents inside Iraq as well as perpetration of violence against them, and moreover, post a UNAMI monitoring team inside Ashraf and enact measures to lift the siege on the city and nullify the unjust arrest warrants.
3. We call on the French government to urge the UN to comply with its obligations in relation to article 2 above, and furthermore, assist the UN in this endeavor;
4. We call on the United States of America to remove the PMOI from its terrorist list and to ensure the protection of Ashraf residents.
Co-Pilot Seat Adjust on 737 Sends Plane on 7,000-Foot Frightening Plunge
By Marty Cox
Dec 1, 2010
A co-pilot decided to adjust his seat on a 737 airplanewhile in flight and accidentally hit the control column on the plane, sending the jet into a nose-dive and a frightening 7,000 foot plunge, according to investigators cited by CNN
The frightening scenario played out on an Air India Express 737 earlier this year.
"According to the report from India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the co-pilot panicked and was unable to execute the proper procedures as the jetliner dropped from 37,000 feet at a 26-degree angle.
The plane and its 113 passengers were saved when the pilot, who'd gone on a bathroom break, used an emergency code to get into the locked cockpit, jumped back into his seat and grabbed the controls to bring the plummeting plane out of its dive."